SEO News Update – Week of Jan 2, 2017

Google Changes & More

Google again showing third-party reviews in local results

Google is integrating third-party reviews into the Knowledge Graph for hotels. It apparently has been happening since 2016 and is entirely opt-in for the provider.

Google Help testing a colorful Material redesign on web, mobile that highlights search

From Calendar to Finance to News, Google’s web apps have seen a fresh coat of paint throughout 2017. However, before the year’s end, the company is currently testing a redesign of Google Help that focuses on search and adds even more Material Design elements.

New test prominently showcases Google Express in mobile search results

This week, we spotted a new treatment for Google Express in the search results. This included two new elements: a promotion for the program at the top of the results and a new look for Google Express ads in the Shopping carousel.

Negative reviews from ex-employees are finally against Google’s guidelines

Google recently updated its review policies to clarify that reviews left by former employees are considered to be in violation of its guidelines. Columnist Joy Hawkins explains that this was (unfortunately) necessary.

Google: Avoid Using Google Tag Manager For SEO Experiments

There is a post about using Google Tag Manager for SEO experiments and if Google is able to pick up on the title tags, meta changes, etc with using Google Tag Manager. It is a pretty interesting blog post and covers the tests well. Although it is somewhat fascinating, Google’s John Mueller doesn’t recommend you use Google Tag Manager for SEO purposes.

From algo to aggro: How SEOs really feel about Google algorithm updates

Algorithm updates got you down? You’re not alone. Columnist Jamie Pitman shares highlights from a BrightLocal survey seeking to understand the ways that algorithm updates impact SEO practitioners’ jobs.

Google: SEOs Don’t Know If Unnatural Links Work Or Not

Typical reward and punishment sometimes is more black and white than how Google’s algorithm works these days. Now that Google devalues links instead of demoting the site with the bad links, Google keeps saying, you don’t know if an unnatural link helps a site rank or not – there are no tools that show you if Google is counting a specific link or not. Heck, even Google’s own link tool in the Google Search Console won’t tell you that – for good reason.

New Google Update Targets Link Spam & Other Unnatural Links?

For the past few days, I have been tracking webmaster forum chatter around another update that may have started around December 26th or so. The dates are a bit fuzzy, but the theme is that more SEOs on the “black hat” end of the game are complaining about their rankings. This is unrelated to the Maccabees update that seemed to target more white hat techniques.

It’s In The Stars – A Google Algorithm Update On 12/15/17 Is Impacting Some Official Celebrity Websites (Updated)

This is NOT a normal post for me to publish, but I wanted to quickly document what I’m seeing. I’m in the middle of heavily analyzing some larger algorithm updates that occurred in December (there were several), and I came across a very interesting situation. I noticed that some celebrities aren’t ranking anymore for their own names. Their official websites used to rank number one in the search results as of early December, but those sites are now either at the bottom of page one or even off page one.


Tutorials, Analysis & SEO Budgeting

Here’s what you need to know for email marketing success in 2018

The holiday season isn’t completely over! Columnist Scott Heimes shares four emailing tips to help you improve your results in the inbox for New Year’s Day and beyond.

SMART goals for SEO

How can you set and achieve aggressive yet realistic SEO goals in 2018? Columnist Marcus Miller explains what SMART goals are and how to apply them to your SEO campaigns.

What to watch for in 2018: Mobile SEO predictions

Mobile SEO expert Cindy Krum shares her predictions for where mobile is headed in 2018 and dives deep into how current trends fit into the impending mobile-first index.

How to build .EDU Domains Backlinks for Free

Do you perform link building strategies for your business? If yes, I’m sure with so many methods to improve rankings for your website, you may not want to adopt SEO tactics that violate the search engines “terms of service.”


2017 was the year for the Google My Business Center. There was a massive rollout of paid, free and improved products for Google Local this past year (Posts, Websites, Messaging,  Local Service ads, Q & A, Bookings, API 4.0) and a raft of updates to both the usability and functionality of the GMB.

Why is Citation Consistency Important?

Citation consistency is very impactful on the Local SEO for businesses that have a physical location such as law firms, nursing homes, doctor offices, rehab centers, apartment complexes & commercial property, etc.

Mind your business: Our top local search columns of 2017

Search Engine Land’s most widely read local search columns from 2017 covered a wide range of topics, from algorithm updates and new Google My Business features to Facebook’s local search capabilities.

PPC insights: Our top SEM columns of 2017

2017 marked yet another eventful year for the SEM industry, and there was no shortage of great content to guide readers through it. See which topics were most popular with Search Engine Land’s PPC community in our top 10 paid search columns of the year.

5 (less obvious) PPC trends to watch in 2018

In closing out our big recap of all the big 2017 trends and changes in PPC, I predict we’ll see trends in artificial intelligence, audience targeting, attribution and local marketing continue to develop in 2018.


Google AdWords offers a variety of keyword matching options when it comes to controlling who sees your ads. One of those options is called the Broad Match Modifier.


Social Media Marketing

3 Marketing Strategies for Raking in Millions

Have a minute? Because that may be all it takes to save the life of a startup — your startup. Seventy-one percent of marketers say that closing more deals is their top sales priority.Yet a whopping 63 percent of them struggle with generating traffic and leads, according to a 2017 study by HubSpot.

Here are the 9 Social Media Trends We Can Expect in 2018 Infographic

Filmora, the company behind a self-described “trendy and easy-to-use” video editing tool with the same name, predicts nine social media trends to expect in 2018.

7 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate 2018

How do you plan on socializing next year? How do you plan on reaching your target audience, who will be socializing with each other, next year? By default, we underestimate how our lives will change in the future.

10 Ways to Step Up Your Social Media Game in 2018

Social media has the power to make a major impact on your business in 2018. But you need to know all the latest trends and most effective methods if you want to really grow your business. To learn more about stepping up your social media game, check out some insights from knowledgeable members of the online small business community here.

Building social buzz: Our top 10 social media marketing columns of 2017

The social media marketing sphere just doesn’t stop shifting, as new platforms arise and others fizzle. Our Marketing Land contributors covered the highlights from Facebook, LinkedIn and more.

The Importance of Using Visual Content in Social Media Marketing

Social media plays a vital role in today’s digital marketing. Marketers leverage social media platforms to target specific audiences and deliver high-quality content to a large number of people at the same time. That way, marketers can effectively promote their businesses, as well as their products and services. However, almost every business on the market uses social media to tailor their messages and promote their offers by posting content on social media networks. As a matter of fact, 140 million tweets are generated and over two million videos get uploaded to social media every day.

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